It was a great surprise when I discovered just how far back teaching goes in my family especially through my Moody ancestors.
My mother (Ozie Mae Moody Hunt aka Koko) was proud that all three of her children went to college, graduated, and became teachers. Her goal, spoken to us time after time, was that we would go to college “one way or another.” I don’t know if she wished all to be teachers, but she always spoke highly of her cousins who were teachers. After both of my children also entered the teaching profession, I have often thought about about mother’s heritage of producing their her will and efforts a good number of teachers.
It was just this month that cousin Betty Moody Walker shared with me a piece of her research which filled in some details on an early 19th Century common Moody ancestor, my great, great, great, great grandfather (g4 grandfather) Benjamin Moody of Chatham County, North Carolina.
The item was an article/obituary about Benjamin in the Biblical Recorder, the official journal of the North Carolina Baptist Convention in its January 27, 1854 edition. The obituary concluded with this information: “He had been a school teacher for half a century and perhaps has taught more youths than any other man that ever lived in Chatham County, and there are many no doubt in different parts of the county when they read this, whose though (thoughts? dh) will run back to their school boy days when they went to old Mr. Moody.”
Benjamin was born ca 1767 in North Carolina to William Moody. Previously, our research had turned up an abstract of his will dated February 1854 in Chatham County, we had found records of Benjamin being a member of the Rives Chapel Church of the same county, and documents helping us find the names of some of his children and his wife. This obituary, however, added a personal touch about this long-deceased ancestor that makes me a feel a closer kinship today.
The entire obituary from the journal as transcribed by Betty Moody Walker follows.
From the Biblical Recorder—–January 1854
“Died January 5, 1854, Benjamin Moody in the 87th year of his age.
The deceased had been for 20 years a member of the Reeves Chapel Baptist Church. Death did not take him by surprise, but he had anticipated it for some time, and seemed to be fully resigned to meet it, believing that it would be far better to depart and be with Christ, than to remain in this sinful world.
“The writer well remembers the last time he ever saw him at meeting, when he talked to the people about the vanity of earthly things, and the greatness of eternity and eternal things, when he brought the tears from many an eye, but his voice is forever hushed.
“Brother Moody had to pass through many sore trials during his pilgrimage on earth, especially his domestic trials, they were such that try men’s souls, and such as few are called to pass through, but amidst them all he still maintained his ground as a christian and exemplified in his life the power of grace of God to sustain the christian under trials.
“He had been a school teacher for half a century and perhaps has taught more youths than any other man that ever lived in Chatham County, and there are many no doubt in different parts of the county when they read this, whose thoughts will run back to their school boy days when they went to old Mr. Moody.”